The Blessing of Anonymity

Fellow Young Minister,

Remember Jamie, from when we first got into the Church? We’ve talked with him a few times. He’s often digging deep at youth rallies with a puddle of snot and tears at the altar. Nobody knows who he really is, but the guy goes after it. You can tell he’s quite involved with the local church but in terms of being “known-known” – I guess just at youth events. I overheard a conversation that someone had with him, in fact. They asked, “So what do you do?” Jamie proceeded to say how he taught and enjoyed bible studies, helping various ministries on a consistent basis. Very few words, although. Then he was asked by a young man, “By any chance, are you called to preach?” You could tell Jamie was caught off guard, “Well…”. He lightly bobbed his head, “Yeah.”

It was an unusual response. While Jamie was confident, it was evident he was pondering another definition of “preach”. So I invited myself to the conversation, “That’s a rather unique response. What do you mean when you say ‘yeah’?” I lightly bobbed my head to imitate him, but I became very intrigued in what he had to say. Jamie replied, “It’s a lot of ‘under-the-radar’ stuff. Ya know?” My mind immediately jumped to a series on prayer I had attended, where the minister was teaching on the ministry of intercessory prayer. I had such a strong feeling this was what Jamie meant, but he was keeping it to himself. It totally went over the head of the guy who asked as he replied, “Cool! How do you preach?” The question made me want to clobber the face of this moment’s shallow culture, for this young man’s ignorance was plainly revealed.

I tried not to be hostile and retorted, “Anointed. That’s how.” Jamie was surprised, yet relieved I answered on his behalf. But he and I both knew I had never heard him preach. Jamie peacefully excused himself to help out his youth group as everyone was dismissed to the afterburner.

Guess what? I saw Jamie on the flyer for a popular conference I attended. He recognized me and gave such a welcoming greeting. It wasn’t 30 seconds before someone showed up and asked, “Hey Bro. Jamie! You got to preach this conference! How do you feel? How did you get this opportunity?” Jamie chuckled, “God knows. Just do the will of God everyday and stay in your lane.” The answer seemed to satisfy the individual as they dismissed themselves. I quickly grew to appreciate Jamie. He spoke in code, too. But what Jamie said next was very clear to me.
He lightly snorted to me and said, “Want to know the real story?”
“Humor me.”
Jamie proceeded, “I was told my name was brought up a year ago. But when it was mentioned, nobody in the room knew me except the person that submitted it. So, my name was pulled from consideration. And God was answering my prayer.”
“Your prayer?”, I inquired.
“Yeah.” He replied. “I was praying a lot, at the time, to be hid with Christ in God (a Colossians 3:3 reference). It was a blessing for me to have such confirmation that while I was not known among men, I was known by God. Besides, I wasn’t seeking opportunities and preaching isn’t a sport, anyway. I don’t need to convince the coach of my abilities. Jesus has seen me train.” He continued, “Most, if not all, of the heavy-lifting of preaching is done in prayer, anyway.”

Jamie hit the nail on the head. Intercessors go unnoticed many, many times. But without them, there is no Church or move of the Spirit. In like manner, it is more valuable in the kingdom of God to be an effective pray-er, than it is to be a mere preacher. Biblically, preacher means “messenger of divine truth” (Strong’s G2783) and a short study of Acts reveals that the WHOLE gospel was declared to the WHOLE world by the WHOLE Church. Being a preacher in the New Testament was not a status symbol, it was obedience to the Great Commission. Jamie helped shine light on the fact that the ministry of preaching with the ministry of fervent, earnest prayer – that only God knows of – is the objective of Spirit-led ministers. Without biblical prayer, preaching is either dead-weight oratory or sensationalism of speech. Without biblical preaching, prayer is just a river that feeds itself and has no deeds attached to it. In other words, declaring the gospel (preaching) is the release of prayer, while prayer is the reservoir of preaching. These two are New Testament commandments for every believer. One very well-known man of God taught, “When you’ve done all of the praying you ought to, go out there and act on it!” It’s like praying to be a light and talking to nobody that day!

Concerning these areas of supernatural ministry, the blessing of anonymity is that any impure motive is challenged. We will no longer focus on preaching as a ramp for reputation and prayer as a Boy/Girl Scout badge. They are both acts of faithful service for our heavenly King. And He takes good notes of us.

Even Paul sought to preach the gospel in certain regions and churches but the Holy Spirit FORBID him (Acts 16:6, Romans 15) I am not assuming that Paul had impure motives. But what I am saying is that a closed door can secretly be advancement. Paul ended up reaching ALL of Asia Minor later on through teaching in the school of Tyrannus. If we are not careful, we can allow cultural conditioning to make us equate anonymity with ineffectiveness. The kingdoms of light and darkness know who the difference-making young ministers are. The sons of Sceva found that out real quick (Acts 19:11-20).

Whether seen or unseen, let us do the will of God with our whole being!

See you next week, my friend!

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